8th annual Box City event to raise funds and awareness for homelessness

Katie Tarantini, 15, left and Casey Watson snuggle in their "homes" for the night as they chat with friends from the Valencia Smile Club during the Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley, Box City event to raise awareness about homeless families which was held at Valencia Heritage Park in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The signal

Santa Clarita residents are invited to break out their cardboard boxes and sleeping bags for Family Promise’s annual Box City event on Saturday, Oct. 7.

Registration for the 8th annual campout fundraiser, which raised $75,000 for Family Promise last year, starts on Aug. 25.

Box City allows locals to spend the night in a cardboard box in Valencia Heritage Park to simulate what sleeping without a home is like for homeless people in the valley.

“It really has been a great fit for Santa Clarita,” Family Promise Board of Directors President Laurie Ender said.

Family Promise’s goal is to bring shelter, food and services to local homeless families.

Each attendee is asked to raise a minimum of $100 in pledges, all of which goes directly to Family Promise’s programs, including counseling, bus passes and school supplies for homeless people in the valley.

People of all ages are welcome to attend the event. Participants will receive a Box City T-shirt and a brown bag dinner as well as music, prizes and games.

The participant deemed to have the best box architecture and design will be presented a key to Box City and will be named its mayor.

In addition to the fun, a family who has graduated from Family Promise’s program will share their testimony before there is a candle lighting ceremony.

“You can see it on the faces of the people that are there why we do Box City and why they support Family Promise,” Ender said.

Last year, over 400 people attended and Ender expects that the event will be even larger this year. She encourages friends, teams and troops to participate, as she said its most fun in groups.

Registration costs $25 in advance and $30 at the door. To sign up for the event or to donate, visit familypromisescv.org.

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